Esperanza, Ecuador

March 19th- March 27th, 2016



ABE offers a spring break trip to work with the indigenous community of Esperanza. We are able to continue the CSB/SJU relationship with the community in Esperanza as a May term group works with them in May. Last year's ABE trip spent the majority of the week assisting the community in tasks such as gardening, cleaning, painting, and playing with the children. They also were able to assist teachers in the preschool and elementary classrooms.

" This trip opened my eyes to a culture drastically different than my own and allowed me to make amazing connections within the community of Esperanza as well as with fellow Bennies and Johnnies."~ 2015 Participant

What to Expect:

  • Cost:  Each ABE trip costs $375.  International trips have the added cost of flights. In the past flights to Ecuador have cost  $801.56 (2014) and $994.57 (2015). International ABE trips have the additional expense of $25 for an ISIC card. We require International Student ID Cards (ISIC) to all CSB/SJU students, faculty and staff traveling internationally on short-term programs. The Basic ISIC card ($25) is required to bridge the gap for emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance.
  • Travel: The group will fly from Minneapolis to Quito, Ecuador and then take a bus to Otavalo. Each day they will bus to Esperanza for work.
  • Lodging: Participants will stay in La Posada del Quinde in Otavalo
  • Food: Breakfast and lunch are provided by the hotel and include some traditional local dishes. Dinner will be provided using SNAP funds.
  • Work: Work will be varied depending on the needs of the site. Work will be done with the indigenous community of Esperanza. In the past participants have assisted the profesoras with their students, built fences around gardens, painted the building, expierenced cultural traditions, and organized classrooms.
  • Extra Fun: There are many fun things to do during your stay including hiking a waterfall or a sunken valcano, visiting a bird park, visiting the food and craft markets, and getting a cuy cleansing! The hotel staff is very helpful in assisting you with directions. Participants should bring extra money for taxis to these locations and to pay for the cost of these fun activities!
  • Focus: Volunteering with the indigenous community of Esperanza in education, crafts, cultural diversity, building, agriculture, etc.

  Interested in applying to co-lead or participate on the Ecuador trip?  Apply here to co-lead or here to participate! 

Please note: $100 due with acceptance of a position!

Any questions about this trip can be directed to Alternative Break Experiences at

ABE Spring Trip


Ecuador Packing List

Special Points of Interest:

  • Spanish immersion
  • Cultural diversity
  • Social Justice
  • Children
  • Environmental Issues and Education
  • English Tutoring
  • Math Tutoring

From Past Participants:  

"The work and service we performed during our week impacted not only the community we served, but each of us on an individual level." ~ 2015 Participant

"This experience has changed my life. We go to the community to help them- but I believe they have helped me and changed my outlook on life." ~ 2014 Participant